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Denver Population Decline Update | Westword

Colorado is no longer experiencing a population boom, new figures from the US Census Bureau show.

Denver County lost thousands of residents from 2020 to 2021, according to the latest census data, after the population fell from 600,158 in 2010 to 715,522 in 2020. At least seven other counties in Colorado also experienced population declines, including three more in the metropolitan area. . And while none of the state’s seven largest metropolitan statistical areas suffered a similar shrinkage, their population gains were modest, in part due to the fallout from COVID-19. Evidence suggests that many Colorado women delayed pregnancies in the first year of the pandemic, for example, and although the birth rate tended to rise in the second year, much of the he increase in the number of newborns has been offset by an increase in the number of deaths.

The US Census Bureau’s Vintage 2021 survey was released on March 24, and in its announcement, the agency contextualized some of the key takeaways. Statistics showed that between 2020 and 2021, 73% of counties in the country experienced a natural decline in population, in which deaths exceeded births, compared to 45.5% in 2019 and 55.5% in 2020. Factors for this decline cited by the bureau include “fewer births, an aging population and increased mortality, intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The 2021 vintage included information for nineteen of Colorado’s 64 counties. The number of natural population declines was less than the 73% recorded nationally, but in eight of nineteen counties the population fell, with the largest declines recorded in Denver, Jefferson, Boulder and Arapahoe. Here’s the recap, ranked from largest to smallest drop:

Denver County: -6,167
Jefferson County: -3,347
Boulder County: -1,268
Arapahoe County: -212
Moffat County: -82
Morgan County: -57
Summit County: -30
Logan County: -8

The Denver Metropolitan Statistical Area, or MSA, combines the Lakewood and Aurora stats — and overall it grew by 3,277 from 2020 to 2021. However, that’s down from the rise of 5,468 people from 2019 to 2020.

In 2020, MSA Denver-Lakewood-Aurora recorded 8,054 births and 5,732 deaths. The following year both figures rose by a multiple of around four, with births reaching 32,211 and deaths listed at 23,680. The result was a natural increase of 8,531 – but that gain was muted to some extent by the effects of the pandemic on migration. In 2020, total international migration only increased by 67, and it actually fell by 41 the following year. As for internal migration, it decreased by 6,507 in 2020, and a rebound of 3,010 in 2021 did not compensate for the shortfall.

The trends were similar for the six other MSAs for which the Census Bureau published comparisons between 2020 and 2021: Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Greeley, Pueblo, Grand Junction and Durango. Below are details on each, including population estimates and changes, natural changes related to births and deaths, sums related to international and domestic migration, and the residual category, which the agency defines as “a change in population that cannot be attributed to any specific demographic component of population change.”

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metropolitan Statistical Area

Base estimate, 2020: 2,963,821
Population estimate, 2020: 2,969,289
Population estimate, 2021: 2,972,566
Population change, 2020: 5,468
Population change, 2021: 3,277
Births, 2020: 8,054
Births, 2021: 32,211
Deaths, 2020: 5,732
Deaths, 2021: 23,680
Natural change, 2020: 2,322
Natural change, 2021: 8,531
International migration, 2020: 67
International migration, 2021: -41
Internal migration, 2020: -6,507
Internal migration, 2021: 3,010
Net migration 2020: -5,448
Net migration, 2021: 3,249
Residual, 2020: 136
Residual, 2021: 194

Colorado Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area

Base estimate, 2020: 755,105
Population estimate, 2020: 756,573
Population estimate, 2021: 762,793
Population change, 2020: 1,468
Population change, 2021: 6,220
Births, 2020: 2,238
Births, 2021: 8,997
Deaths, 2020: 1,611
Deaths, 2021: 6,143
Natural change, 2020: 627
Natural change, 2021: 2,584
International migration, 2020: -33
International migration, 2021: -41
Internal migration, 2020: 839
Internal migration, 2021: 3,290
Net migration 2020: 806
Net migration, 2021: 3,249
Residual, 2020: 35
Residual, 2021: 117

Fort Collins Metropolitan Statistical Area

Base estimate, 2020: 359,066
Population estimate, 2020: 359,686
Population estimate, 2021: 362,533
Demographic change, 2020: 620
Population change, 2021: 2,847
Births, 2020: 731
Births, 2021: 2,960
Deaths, 2020: 695
Deaths, 2021: 2,759
Natural change, 2020: 36
Natural change, 2021: 201
International migration, 2020: 2
International migration, 2021: 94
Internal migration, 2020: 581
Internal migration, 2021: 2,508
Net migration 2020: 583
Net migration, 2021: 2,602
Residual, 2020: 1
Residual, 2021: 44

Greeley Metropolitan Statistical Area

Base estimate, 2020: 328,981
Population estimate, 2020: 331,358
Population estimate, 2021: 340,036
Population change, 2020: 2,377
Population change, 2021: 8,678
Births, 2020: 1,134
Births, 2021: 4,333
Deaths, 2020: 558
Deaths, 2021: 2,340
Natural change, 2020: 576
Natural change, 2021: 1,993
International migration, 2020: -2
International migration, 2021: 99
Internal migration, 2020: 1,775
Internal migration, 2021: 6,631
Net migration 2020: 1,773
Net migration, 2021: 6,730
Residual, 2020: 28
Residual, 2021: -45

Pueblo Metropolitan Statistical Area

Base estimate, 2020: 168,162
Population estimate, 2020: 168,467
Population estimate, 2021: 169,622
Demographic change, 2020: 305
Population change, 2021: 1,155
Births, 2020: 431
Births, 2021: 1,723
Deaths, 2020: 590
Deaths, 2021: 2,283
Natural variation, 2020: -159
Natural variation, 2021: -560
International migration, 2020: 0
International migration, 2021: 13
Internal migration, 2020: 470
Internal migration, 2021: 1,699
Net migration 2020: 470
Net migration, 2021: 1,712
Residual, 2020: -6
Residual, 2021: 3

Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area

Base estimate, 2020: 155,703
Population estimate, 2020: 155,939
Population estimate, 2021: 157,335
Demographic change, 2020: 236
Population change, 2021: 1,396
Births, 2020: 382
Births, 2021: 1,529
Deaths, 2020: 421
Deaths, 2021: 1,877
Natural variation, 2020: -39
Natural variation, 2021: -348
International migration, 2020: -1
International migration, 2021: 4
Internal migration, 2020: 282
Internal migration, 2021: 1,734
Net migration 2020: 281
Net migration, 2021: 1,738
Residual, 2020: -6
Residual, 2021: 6

Durango Metropolitan Statistical Area

Base estimate, 2020: 55,638
Population estimate, 2020: 55,642
Population estimate, 2021: 56,250
Demographic change, 2020: 4
Demographic change, 2021: 608
Births, 2020: 98
Births, 2021: 462
Deaths, 2020: 98
Deaths, 2021: 477
Natural change, 2020: 0
Natural variation, 2021: -15
International migration, 2020: 0
International migration, 2021: 2
Internal migration, 2020: 7
Internal migration, 2021: 621
Net migration 2020: 7
Net migration, 2021: 623
Residual, 2020: -3
Residual, 2021: 0

Click to read our three-part series on Colorado’s growth: “Almost Everything You Think You Know About Colorado’s Growth Is Wrong,” “Surprising Reasons Colorado’s Growth Is Slowing,” and “Why Denver Might Face to a crisis of slow growth this decade”.